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I'm Playing High Stakes Poker with a Demon - by Colin Gawel

Or put another way, how can KISS tickets be this expensive?

I last saw KISS in Dayton three years ago. There were maybe 5,000 people at the show. Paul sang OK, but it wasn’t great. When they recently announced their latest 140 date “Farewell Tour” my first two thoughts were: 1. No way Paul can sing that many shows and 2. No way they are going to be able to fill all those arenas.

The jury is still out on question one, but according to the online markets, KISS is suddenly as popular as Fleetwood Mac or Elton John. Right now I am looking at ticket prices 36 hours out from some roadie screaming “YOU WANTED THE BEST…..” and Ticketmaster is still showing a sell-out, as has been the case since the day tickets went on sale. That alone seemed suspicious. I was guesting at CD102.5  that same day and Program Director Mase (and fellow KISS fan ) said, “No way that show sold out. That’s bullshit. That’s a Groupon show for sure.” I agreed. Yet here we are, the show is sold out and.….resale markets are showing that even the worst seats in the upper deck are going for $200.

Who are all these people that are suddenly so jacked to see Kiss? I own a coffee shop and I haven’t met ONE person who has KISS tickets. And these are the sort of people that go see Cher or The Eagles just because it's the thing to do. I asked my younger, hip co-worker if KISS was suddenly cool again and she answered “Anyone I know, who actually know KISS, hates KISS.”

Even among my personal KISS super-fan circle, (mainly comprised of people who attended the KISS convention last year on Mother’s Day in Indianapolis), only half of us have tickets. I mean, if we don’t even all have tickets who are the other 18,000 folks paying top dollar to hear “Heaven’s on Fire” and “War Machine” one final time? And did I mention KISS is playing the very next night in Cleveland and then later in Cincinnati? So it’s not like they are only playing a handful of dates on the “End of the Road” tour.

Anyway, I have no answers. My brain cannot figure it out. I’ve told myself there is NO WAY i’m paying $200 to sit in the back of an arena to see a declining KISS for yet another time.

But…. my inner nine-year old knows better. KISS Alive is the reason I started playing guitar. When other guys would get grounded for sneaking out and meeting girls in high school, I got grounded for sneaking out and road-tripping to see KISS in Cincy on the Asylum tour. Instead of kissing a girl at midnight,  I spent New Year’s Eve my senior year seeing KISS at Hara Arena in Dayton on the....gulp.....Crazy Nights tour. It was a terrible show but I loved it anyway. (Click here for the setlist)  So the idea of me sitting home this Saturday night knowing full well that I’d be skipping my final chance to hear “100,000 Years” would be a bitter pill indeed.

I suspect that somewhere Gene Simmons knows this. He is calling my bluff. If an election can be rigged through Facebook, I’m sure some troll factory shared the fact I’m constantly hijacking threads with KISS-related debates and shared that info with Stubhub. I mean, just google the words: Kiss Pencilstorm and see how many stories pop up. I just did; it’s pages and pages. Even worse than my incriminating paper trail of KISS fanaticism is the actual super-powers KISS possess as seen in the acclaimed documentary KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park. Starchild can use his magic star-eye to see into my soul and say “Demon, don’t lower prices, he will ending paying whatever we tell him to pay.” The Demon would respond “RRrrrrrrrrr.”

Ugh. Why does loving KISS always have to be so damn hard? - Colin G.

Colin Gawel founded Pencilstorm and wrote this at Colin’s Coffee. He really likes the KISS record Monster but doesn’t care for Sonic Boom. Click on his Pencilstorm tab to hear his bands.

Five Life-Changing Rock & Roll Shows - by JCE

I read and enjoyed the recent piece posted here on Pencilstorm called “Tales of My Misspent Youth: Five Concerts That Changed My Life” by Jim Johnson. In keeping with the series of pieces about life-changing records that hung on for several weeks here on Pencilstorm, I thought I would follow Jim with my own list. I’m calling them “shows” because I philosophically struggle to call club gigs “concerts.” And for me, four out of five on my list were in small clubs. I won’t bore you with too much detail, I’ll keep it short. Some of my shows are kind of obscure, so you might be bored anyway. Here goes, in chronological order:

1. Aerosmith w/ Golden Earring, Capital Centre, Landover, MD. If you have read any of the stuff I have posted on Pencilstorm, you should be scratching your head at this one. It’s here because it was my first concert ever, around 1975. My awesome big sister (R.I.P.) took me to this show and launched my life-long love of live rock and roll. I had the best big sister in the world. Notably, the opening act was supposed to be Styx, but they cancelled. Thank God for that.

2. The Stranglers w/ Minor Threat and Bad Brains, Ontario Theater, Washington, D.C. In middle school and high school I was a skateboarder, which led me to being pretty much a punk rocker as well. This was not the first punk show I saw by any means, but it was an early one with a great band from England (I never saw the Pistols or The Clash unfortunately). The openers were D.C. hardcore legends, a scene which later had a major impact on me.

3. Tru Fax and the Insaniacs w/ Jason & the Nashville Scorchers, Nightclub 9:30, Washington, D.C. I saw Tru Fax probably 30 times or more. They were my favorite D.C. band along with the Slickee Boys and Tommy Keene. The opening act is what gets this show on the list however. Jason & the Nashville Scorchers (they dropped the “Nashville” soon after this show) were the best live band I ever saw, second only to The Neighborhoods. I saw them about six times and they were nothing shy of spectacular every time.

4. 98 Colours, The Mineshaft, Charlottesville, VA. I realize that no one has heard of these guys. They never even made a record. But this band became the core of a group of the best friends I could imagine, as we all saw them every time they played, and it was an amazing time in my life. John (drums), Randy (bass, vocals) and David (guitar, vocals) were tremendous friends and they had a huge influence on my life. I doubt I would have met my beautiful wife of 28 years without them. I will tell their story in a future piece if the story is deemed worthy of Pencilstorm.

5. The Neighborhoods, The C&O, Charlottesville, VA. I saw The Neighborhoods many, many times with the Minehan, Harrington, Quaglia line-up. I saw them in Charlottesville every time they played, I saw them in Richmond, Washington, D.C., and even in their hometown of Boston. They are the best live band ever and therefore they MUST be on this list. The show I am picking for the list was one of the first ones I saw, if not THE first, so it is memorable. I was simply blown away. I met the guys a number of times and they were always gracious. My friends in 98 Colours opened for them several times as well. This is a band that means so much to me.

Okay, those are my five. When I sat and thought about a list, I had a dozen. It was tough to narrow down, but these were the most impactful, if not necessarily the best shows I have seen. Thanks for reading. Who’s next with their list? - JCE

Ricki C. and JCE (John, to his friends & family) first bonded over their shared mutual love of Boston's Finest Sons - The Neighborhoods - and everything extended out from that rock & roll ripple.  JCE lives in Culpeper, Virginia with his wife & daughter, and he & Ricki are STILL waiting for the long-rumored NEW Neighborhoods record to be released. Maybe in 2019.

Tales of My Misspent Youth: Five Concerts That Changed My Life - by Jim Johnson

I’ve seen more than my share of great concerts. Heck, I’ve seen the Stones 15 or 20 times. I never did get to see the Beatles, but neither did most of you. Anyway, seeing a great band never gets old, but some will remain clogged in my memory as being the ones that really stand out. Here’s five particularly good ones.

#5 - Led Zeppelin / Pittsburgh Civic Arena / March, 1970 – I loved the band, from their first record. I was a Yardbirds fan, and they always had great guitar players, but Jimmy Page always stood out for me. Zep’s bombastic style was unlike anything else: Plant’s high wail, Page’s grungy guitar, Jones’ solid bass, but it was the drumming that really did it. No one had ever played like Bonham. Yeah, Moon was all over the place, Ginger Baker could plod out double-bass stuff like nobody’s business, but here was Bonham. He was doing that bass drum stuff, with a SINGLE LUDWIG SPEED KING pedal! To me, it was unbelievable, and I had to see it live. They had just done Led Zeppelin III, and there was a lot of acoustic stuff on that record. I was hoping they wouldn’t get too acoustic on me. They did not disappoint. They played for 3 1/2 hours, without a break. Heck, the drum solo on Moby Dick was 45 minutes. For me, this was Zeppelin at their prime, and I was privileged to see it first-hand.

#4 - The Who / Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati / December, 1979 – Yeah it was THAT Who show in Cincinnati. My friend Louis and I drove down from Columbus. We were both working for Buzzard’s Nest, and got pretty good seats. We decided to drive down early, so we could get close to the doors, get in early, and have a few beers before they started. We got in really quickly when they opened the doors, and a minute after we were in, we heard the band doing their sound check. We blew off the beer and headed to our seats. We made a comment that we were glad we had reserved seats, and wouldn’t have to fight the crowd down on the floor, where it was general admission. It was the Who’s first tour after Moon died, so we didn’t know what to expect, except I was glad they got Kenny Jones to replace Moon. No one could ever play like Moon, but now the Who would have the anchor that Entwistle needed to really let his bass playing shine. After all, he was the real lead instrument in the Who. Townshend could play, but he wasn’t a lead player, in the fashion of Clapton, Page, or Beck. Listen to Quadrophenia, and tell me Entwistle isn’t the lead instrument. Anyway, the Who were great! Didn’t miss a lick with Kenny Jones on drums. We drove home raving about the show, until we turned on the radio, and found out 11 people had died at the very show we just left. We felt just awful, because moments ago, we were raving about how great the Who were. I’ve never been to another general admission show, in an arena.

#3 - The Rolling Stones / Akron Rubber Bowl / July 1972 – I was a student at OSU. It was June of ‘72, and I decided to stay in Columbus instead of going home to Youngstown for the summer. I had just started playing in bands again, after not playing for a couple of years to concentrate on school. I was playing in a band called Caterpillar (named after the company that made bulldozers). Our flyers advertised “The earth-moving sounds of Caterpillar.” I think one of the guitar players worked for them. Anyway, our lead singer, Tom Howard, was a real Stones fan. He convinced me to go with him, and I said yeah, except I didn’t have $18 for a ticket. He loaned me the money, and off we went. We got there early enough that we were able to see the Stones from about 30 feet from the stage. Exile on Main Street had just come out, and song after song after song, they played everything I wanted to hear. Mick Taylor was still in the band on that tour, and he covered everything Keith couldn’t play, magnificently. I was a Stones fan for life.

#2 - Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band / Veteran’s Memorial, Columbus, Ohio / September 5th, 1978 – Playing in a band cost me the chance to see Bruce on the Born to Run tour at the Ohio Theatre in 1976, and I WAS NOT missing him this time. It had been a couple of years since Born To Run came out, and when Darkness On The Edge of Town arrived, that RECORD changed my life. It wasn’t about fun & games & chasing girls, getting high, and having fun anymore. This was serious shit. This was all about life, and MY life in particular. It was like he knew my life’s story, and was singing about it. I was lucky enough to be in the 2nd row (working the ticket counter at Buzzard’s Nest had its privileges). The band came out and started with “Summertime Blues.” The sound, fury and bombast was like a punch in the face, only it felt good. Three hours of the greatest songs I’d ever heard. All of a sudden this was grown-up Rock & Roll. I was mesmerized, and never the same again. Springsteen fans will know what I’m talking about. Rock & Roll grew up that day, and so did I.

#1 - Atlantic City Pop Festival / Atlantic City, NJ / August, 1969 – I know what you’re thinking, how can anything beat the previous four shows? I will tell you. It was the summer of ’69 (yeah, who thought Bryan Adams would write a song about it?), the summer between my junior and senior year in high school. My friend Randy had moved with his parents to Pennsylvania and his family invited me to spend a weekend with them before school started in September. My mom was OK with it, as she knew Randy’s dad was a minister, and I would be OK. I just had to take a Greyhound bus from Youngstown to Harrisburg PA. Randy had just gotten his driver’s license and picked me up at the bus station. He asked me if I was ready for an adventure. I didn’t know what he meant, but he told me there was a ROCK FESTIVAL in Atlantic City that weekend, only a couple hours away. There was ALSO one in two weeks in WOODSTOCK NY, but that was two weeks away, and Atlantic City had a beach. That was a bonus, so we opted for Atlantic City.

This was my first exposure to the “counter culture” and I would never be the same after this either. Pot smoke filled the air, and I saw band after band over three days of great music: Jefferson Airplane, Chicago, Joni Mitchell, Procol Harum, Iron Butterfly, The Byrds, Canned Heat, Santana, Mothers Of Invention, and Joe Cocker, to name a few. It was unbelievable for anyone, let alone a 17-year old kid. On Sunday, the final night, I was totally burnt, from three days of over-exposure to my senses. I was ready to go home, but I had to stay to see Janis Joplin, whom I loved. Janis was great, swigging from a bottle of Southern Comfort, and belting out the tunes from her new album, Pearl. She had a whole new band, and they had a really different sound than Big Brother. I still remember the sax player’s name, Snooki Flowers. Janis was unbelievable. Just as good as when she played Monterrey, in that film. The entire crowd was blown away. After her set, I just sat on the ground for a few minutes to catch my breath. I was about to leave, when they announced from the stage, “Little Richard.” I never thought anyone could top Janis. She was pure emotion, and she shared it with everyone. Richard Penniman came out and it was 45 minutes of pure adrenalin. I don’t even know how to explain it, but you can find those old films of him on YouTube. Magnify what you see by a thousand, and THAT is the electricity that zapped the crowd for 45 minutes to close the ATLANTIC CITY POP FESTIVAL. I WAS NEVER THE SAME.

Each one of these shows changed my life. They made me what I am today. I hope you enjoy my take on them. Rock and Roll CAN change your life; if you believe. It certainly did for me. - Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson is Midwest legend; playing drums with Willie Phoenix, The Retreads and League Bowlers, among others. Click here to read more about him.

Listen to this! League Bowlers Some Balls Deluxe.

Remembering Mark Hollis - by Jerome Dillon

"I like silence. If you're going to break into it, have a reason for doing it." Mark Hollis

The Talk Talk records changed my life: The Party's Over' rarely left my turntable in '82 and '83, 'It's My Life' was in my Walkman for '84 and '85, and 'The Colour of Spring' was the only cassette in my 1976 Chevy Impala for the better part of three years.

I was 19 when 'Spirit of Eden' was released. Looking back, that record was a benediction -- or rite of passage. I was in awe and realized what a callow musician I was. It convinced me that the most crucial component of the creative process is risk. It gave me direction.

'Spirit of Eden' is fearless and brutally honest. Everything is exposed for what it is, or more importantly, what it isn't. At points it's deceptively fragile and delicate, only to shift suddenly into midrange guitar feedback and a violent battery of drums and percussion.

When 'Laughing Stock' was released, I thought it was an amazing record, but it felt like the end. I didn't think that Mark Hollis and Tim Friese-Greene could go any further. Lee Harris and Paul Webb had become an astounding rhythm section: perfectly balanced in supporting, pushing or staying inside the music.

In 1998, Mark's solo record was released and at first listen, I was reminded of what a callow musician I was. At 3:00 into the fifth track, "A Life (1895-1915)", the instrumentation deconstructed -- leaving only an isolated shaker in the left channel. For the next 1:26, the arrangement swelled into one of the most hypnotic and solemn sections of music I'd ever heard: alternating bars of six and seven with a repeating piano motif and vesperal female vocals soaring above the mix. When the record finished, I sat dumbstruck. It was so smart, restrained and visceral -- it pissed me off.

My favorite singer, songwriter and band. The impact is immeasurable and the music's depth, emotional resonance and atmosphere are timeless. Thank you, Mark. Godspeed. Jerome Dillon

Further reading:

Say Goodbye to Musical Genius Mark Hollis With These Gems .

Mark Hollis And Talk Talk’s Brilliant, Nuanced, Stubborn Visions .

This Is Not the Way Rock & Roll Was Supposed To Turn Out - by Ricki C.

(editor’s note: It’s not exactly a state secret around the Pencilstorm offices that Ricki C. occasionally goes off the deep end about his beloved “rock & roll.” The phrase “Ricki’s in a mood” is often bandied about as a whispered warning among writers & staffers, as an alert that all is not well. I believe this piece is going to reflect Ricki’s more SNL Drunk Uncle leanings than his usual more careful, controlled, measured prose leanings. It’s gonna be long, it’s gonna be scattered, and there’s gonna be profanity. Proceed at your own risk and keep the kiddies away from the blog.)

This is not the way rock & roll was supposed to turn out. I’m 66 years old. I’ve been listening to and loving rock & roll since I was 5 years old, sitting in the backseat of my sainted Italian father’s 1952 Oldsmobile, drinking in the sounds of “Peggy Sue” by Buddy Holly or “Yakety Yak” by The Coasters as my much-older sister & brother punched the dial of the radio in the front seat. (Actually, it’s more likely I was STANDING UP on the back seat listening, because I was too little to see over the front seat otherwise, and I wanted to see where we were going. Car seats for the little ones? I don’t THINK SO, mister. Not in 1957 Columbus, Ohio, America, anyway. We had one car that had an oscillating fan with no cover over the blades ON THE DASHBOARD. Forget just hitting your head on the metal dash in case of a sudden stop – and this was YEARS before seat belts became mandatory, or even common, in cars – in the case of that car your FACE was gonna literally hit the fan.)

But I digress………

Colin asked me a coupla weeks ago to write a blog about the umpteenth “reunion” tour by The Who, who will be performing with (God help us) symphony orchestras on their upcoming Spring tour. That topic – along with Nick Jezierney’s KISS Tacoma Dome blog, JCE’s Glorious Sons piece, and Colin’s Bohemian Rhapsody post – have kinda conspired to put me train-round-the bend about rock & roll in 2019.

KISS was not supposed to still EXIST in 2019, let alone still be touring. Bands like The Glorious Sons who – let’s face facts – are unlikely to EVER get much bigger than playing small clubs on their own, or opening slots for slightly more popular “alternative” bands’ theater shows, will NEVER get the opportunity to develop into the upper ranks of rock & roll because the Dinosaur Relics of the 1970’s are STILL clogging up the arenas in the Upper Echelons of rock & roll. And Queen should not be permitted to just enlist some fuckboy American Idol has-been loser singing lead and some faceless bass player and still CALL THEMSELVES QUEEN AND PLAY ARENAS.

But they will, because – rubes that some of us are – we will still plonk down our hard-earned money to see them. Are we SO HARD UP for entertainment out here in Trump-country that we will get in our cars and drive to the Enormo-Dome to see Queen? I mean come on, this is a band that hasn’t put out an album in DECADES and whose (admittedly genius) lead singer Freddie Mercury hadn’t performed in public since 1986 (33 years ago) and died in 1991 (28 YEARS AGO!).

But that’s kinda the point, really, isn’t it, that ALL we have left is our memories? Our memories of when rock & roll was a thriving, vital force in our lives, not an adjunct – and truthfully not a very LARGE adjunct, compared to pop & rap – of the music business or of – God help us – SHOW BUSINESS.

This is not the way rock & roll was supposed to turn out. Rock was supposed to roll itself over every ten years or so: Buddy Holly & Chuck Berry & Elvis Presley were supposed to give way to The Beatles & The Rolling Stones & The Who, who (pun intended) were supposed to give way to Led Zeppelin & Queen & KISS, who were supposed to turn everything over to The Ramones & The Clash & Elvis Costello; only somewhere in there in the mid-1970’s, rock & roll became lucrative enough an industry to get the attention of the Big Money Men of Show Business. And that was pretty much The Ball Game; my baby boom brethren and the Curse of Classic Rock Radio ruined EVERYTHING.

Rock & roll was never supposed to be show business: Bob Hope & Doris Day & John Wayne & Frank Sinatra & maybe even The Beatles were show business, The Rolling Stones & The Kinks were rock & roll; The Osmond Brothers & Warren Beatty & Ali McGraw were show business, Lou Reed & Bruce Springsteen were rock & roll; Britney Spears & The Dave Matthews Band were show business, The Strokes & The White Stripes were rock & roll. And right there – in the Ricki C. universe – is where rock & roll STOPPED.

I’m now gonna attempt to tie all this up in a pretty little bow, before I hit 1000 words. I have MY memories of rock & roll. Some of them are of Mott The Hoople, whom Queen was supposed to OPEN for at Mershon Auditorium here in Columbus in 1974, but Queen didn’t open, because apparently Brian May contracted hepatitis and they had to blow out part of the tour. Mott The Hoople will be embarking on a “1974 Line-Up” reunion tour in early April. Mott The Hoople was – and IS – one of my five favorite bands of all time but I won’t be going to see them this spring.

Why? Mostly because I’ve seen Ian Hunter – Mott The Hoople’s main songwriter & front-man – as a solo act probably a dozen times since 1976, most recently in 2013 in Kent, Ohio, at Kent Stage, one of my favorite Midwest venues. Hunter consistently records new material, his most recent CD - 2016’s Fingers Crossed - was great and his Rant Band is a killer live assemblage. At the other extreme, the entire rhythm section of the original Mott The Hoople – bassist Overend Watts and drummer Dale “Buffin” Griffin – passed away in 2017 & 2016, respectively, and the two other members – lead guitarist Ariel Bender (Luther Grosvenor) and pianist Morgan Fisher – joined Mott The Hoople in 1973 & 1974, leaving Hunter the only original Mott The Hoople member from the band’s 1969 debut.

Do I begrudge Ian Hunter the cash he’s gonna make from a sold-out Mott The Hoople run? Not on your life, it’s not exactly like Ian became a millionaire from his Hoople association. And the halls Mott The Hoople have sold out on this tour seem to be in the 2000-seat range, they’re hardly Madison Square Garden. It ain’t like Pete Townshend & Roger Daltrey of The Who, Don Henley from The Eagles, or Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley from KISS dragging the rotted, bloating corpses of their original bands ‘round The Colonies for one more cash-grab reunion tour.

I have great memories of live Mott The Hoople. And I’m gonna keep ‘em.

This is not the way rock & roll was supposed to turn out. – Ricki C. / March 3rd, 2019

MOTT THE HOOPLE / 1973

MOTT THE HOOPLE / 2018

(He’s one of my five biggest heroes in ALL of rock & roll, he still looks & sounds great, but what the FUCK is Ian Hunter doing with an ACOUSTIC GUITAR at a Mott The Hoople reunion show? Get out the old Gibsons & Guilds, mate.)

Queen is Drawing a Fine Line Between Tribute and Exploitation - by Colin Gawel

Brian May & Roger Taylor Should Let Freddie Mercury Rest in Peace.

I finally made it out to see the movie Bohemian Rhapsody. In fact, I saw it the night before the Oscar awards were chosen. I had been resistant to seeing the movie because as most Queen fans and certainly all of my music snob friends know, the film is basically BS. I’m not going to go through the whole thing, but if you need one example, Freddie Mercury had not been diagnosed with AIDS before the band’s legendary Live Aid performance. If you are rock n roll fan like myself, that is a troublesome bit to work around.

Still, I went into the theater beer in hand, ready to enjoy the dish Hollywood was serving. I told myself “Lighten up, this is just like a big, glorified VH1 movie. You love those.”  And you know what? I loved it. I mean, I literally turned to my wife during the opening scene when Freddie was getting ready to go onstage at Wembley and said, “This is awesome, I already love this.” Obviously, Rami what’s-his-name killed it in the lead role, which really helped too.

When I shared my thumbs-up review later that night on social media, my opinion was met with a resounding thumbs-down. I couldn’t really argue with the critics, I just enjoyed the movie. It’s funny, I never considered myself a huge Queen fan (relative to the other Queen fans I know), but I suppose - compared to the rest of the general public - I’m relatively hardcore. As a kid taking the bus down High Street every weekend to blow my paper route money on used records, I bought almost every Queen album. Hell, I even bought the soundtrack to Flash Gordon the day it came out and saw the movie opening weekend too. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, consider yourself less of a Queen fan than myself. Still, I never saw them live so I’ve spent countless hours watching YouTube footage and the famous Live Aid show itself probably.….35 times? And I even went to that Queen play. It was pretty good. (editor’s note: Huh? WHAT Queen play? I’m simultaneously fascinated AND appalled. And check out the rest of our music page here)

Another random Queen fact: My favorite song is Dragon Attack.

So you get the gist: I like Queen and damn the torpedoes, I like the movie Bohemian Rhapsody too.

However…. the next night when the Oscar’s opened the show with Queen performing and Adam Lambert playing the role of Freddie, something about it made me queasy. It was one thing for the band to go out and play with (gulp) Paul Rodgers and now this latest line-up when they were kinda, sorta under the radar, but in light the of the movie’s success it felt really tacky. I felt gross watching. I felt bad for Freddie. This was his band. And now they are going on another huge tour, without him. From the tour press release:

“This is a great opportunity,” May said. “Our last tour featured our most ambitious production ever, and got us our best notices ever.”

Really, Brian? “Our best notices ever.” So you guys are better without Freddie Mercury? I mean Lambert does a fine job, but what’s next? In the future will Adam Levine be fronting the Stones on their final tour in honor of Mick? The line Queen is drawing between tribute and exploitation is getting increasingly blurry.

The surviving members taking yet another victory lap after this huge theatrical success feels disrespectful to Freddie. And to the legacy of the band. Of course it smacks of a money grab, but even worse, a glory grab. Right now Queen is the most popular they have ever been. It’s time for them to stand down and let people remember them as the band fronted by Freddie Mercury. Not by Adam Lambert or Paul Rodgers or Rami Malik or anybody else. They twisted Freddie’s life to make this movie. He brought them fame & fortune and everything that goes with it.. And this is how you thank him? Brian May and Roger Taylor should stand on their history and let Freddie Mercury rest in peace: remembered as the amazing lead singer of the rock band Queen. - Colin G.

Colin Gawel wrote this at Colin’s Coffee. He also plays in the band Watershed and The League Bowlers. Below is one of his favorite Queen clips and one example of how future generations should remember the band.

Bonus video!!! They don’t really show this side of the band in the movie, but I would guess that metal fans were the majority of Queen fans right up until around Live Aid. Then the pop fans sorta took over. Still, all true headbangers respect the band. Dig the clip below for a taste why.